Over at the ISI site, Jessica Hooten Wilson from John Brown University has put together a list of ten of the books that undergraduates should have read before they graduate. It’s a fine enough list, including some that should clearly make any such list–Augustine’s Confessions, Milton’s Paradise Lost, and Douglass’s Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, e.g. And there are some that are clearly great works, but which I wouldn’t put on such a list–such as Shakespeare’s Richard III, Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov, and… Read more

Despite enjoying short stories, I’ve never been much of a fan of essays. A good essay leaves you wanting more without providing it. A bad essay is, well, a bad essay. I’ve got to make an exception, however, for Charles Krauthammer’s collection Things that Matter: Three Decades of Passions, Pastimes, and Politics. Drawing primarily on his long-running Washington Post column, Krauthammer has assembled some of his best (and some of his mediocre) from the last three decades in this volume that… Read more

Most of us know Augustine through either the Confessions or City of God, and maybe on rare occasions through his work On the Trinity. But it’s easy to forget that before he was an autobiographer or a cultural critic, he was first and foremost a pastor. The great bulk of his writings are dedicated to the exposition of Scripture or its application to the life of the church and of individual Christians. As with pastors today, this included teaching his flock how best… Read more

If you’re looking for a book to listen to while re-grouting the tiles in your bathtub, you could do a lot worse than the audio version of Edgar Rice Burroughs’ Thuvia: Maid of Mars. If you’ve not encountered Burroughs before, before you pick up Thuvia you should read the first three books in the series (but maybe not all eleven of them), and maybe Tarzan just for good measure. And also as a disclaimer: if you buy the old Del Ray versions of… Read more

A Review of The Solace of Open Spaces Read more

with C.R. Wiley’s recent post about Harry Potter. If you’ve not read it, you should go over there now and do so. As you’d expect from him, it’s well-written, thoughtful, and mostly correct. Even better, he blasts the Harry Potter series not for silly pearl-clutching reasons like witchcraft, but for the very legitimate argument that children’s literature caters far too much to the idea that each one of us is a hero deep down. In his words, the ‘dark magic’ that… Read more

I like to think that the author of Solaris would agree with me that the main character was completely wrong at the end of the book. If this is not the case, then an otherwise excellent classic of science fiction has a fairly weak ending. Older readers of this blog will likely have heard of Solaris through the George Clooney adaptation or the earlier Soviet version, neither of which I’ve seen and so cannot comment on. The book by the Polish author Stanislaw… Read more

Christian Hamaker’s Top 20 Movies of 2017 Read more

Denominations have fallen on hard times these days. Even as traditional Christianity is on the rise (and praise God for that!), it’s increasingly chic for these increasing numbers of traditionalist Christians to eschew identification with specific denominations. Whole churches which are part of major denominations downplay their own membership in those denominations for numerous reasons, not least of which often includes a distaste for the existence of denominations in the first place. And yet, this modern sensibility overlooks the importance… Read more

An Interview with Keith Getty on the state of music in the modern church. Read more

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